A new series of animated films designed to help boaters navigate the UK’s inland waterways safely have been launched by the Canal & River Trust and the Environment Agency.

The five short, animated videos, available on YouTube, are designed primarily for new boaters, including hire boaters. They give straightforward guidance on staying safe when boating, mooring, and using locks. There is also information about bridges, tunnels, weirs and sluices, and advice to help boaters protect the waterway network’s unique heritage and wildlife.

The animations are designed to complement the Boater’s Handbook by offering key navigation advice in an alternative and, for many, more accessible format – especially welcomed by boaters following the growth in new waterway users since the pandemic.

Matthew Symonds, national boating manager at Canal & River Trust, said: “The waterways are fantastic places to explore by boat and it’s great that boating remains a popular leisure and holiday option for so many people experiencing the waterways for the first time. We want to make sure people have the best possible experience and provide them with the information they need to safely handle a boat. These videos cover all the things boaters could expect to come across in an everyday cruise, and we hope that they will help new boaters feel confident as they cast off and discover the wonders of the nation’s inland waterways.”

Jo Scully, National Navigation Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Having listened to our customers we are delighted to launch, along with the Canal & River Trust, these quick and easy to watch safety videos which will help bring confidence to new boaters setting out on the water for the first time. They highlight hazards and how to avoid them, so you can relax and safely enjoy the pleasures of our beautiful waterways alongside other river users.”

The videos can be viewed here:

Canal & River Trust YouTube playlist: Boating Guides – YouTube

Environment Agency YouTube playlist: Boating safely – YouTube

Canal & River Trust website: Boaters’ handbook | Boating on canals | Canal & River Trust (


Still images from the videos are attached, with more available on request.


For further media requests please contact:

Fran Read, Canal & River Trust

m 07796 610 427 e


Notes to Editors



  • The Canal & River Trust cares for and brings to life 2,000 miles of canals and rivers across England & Wales. We believe waterways have the power to make a difference to people’s lives and that spending time by water can make us all healthier and happier. By bringing communities together to make a difference to their local waterway, we are creating places and spaces that can be used and enjoyed by everyone, every day.


  • The Environment Agency is committed to creating better places for people and wildlife – because a healthy environment, including our navigable rivers and waterways, enhances all of our lives and contributes to resilient communities and sustainable economic growth. We are custodians of over 1,000km of navigable waterways and 2 harbours, with a statutory duty to manage these national assets for all manner of boats and waterway recreation. The opportunities provided by our waterways makes them popular visitor destinations, with over 15 million visits per year and many communities and businesses benefitting from sustainable tourism and waterway activity.


Fran Read (she/her)

National press officer

I work Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays

M  07796 610 427



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